Terms of Business
Terms of Business Contents
The Financial Conduct Authority
The FCA is the Independent watchdog that regulates financial services and the products we sell. You can use this information from us to decide if our services are right for you.
Who are we
We are ‘The Business Insurance Bureau’.
The Business Insurance Bureau is owned and operated by Robert Hannah.
Who regulates us
The firm is authorised and regulated by the FCA and our registration number is 307026. We are authorised to conduct General Insurance and this can be verified by contacting the FCA on 0845 606 1234 or www.fca.gov.uk/register.
Our service to you
We are required to comply with the FCA Regulations relevant to an insurance intermediary. These include the following:
A list of insurers is available on request. We may offer certain specialist products from one provider only as this
enables us to obtain maximum value for our customers. We will advise you when this is the case.
The services we will provide you with
The Business Insurance Bureau conducts both client and market research to identify solutions to the needs of an almost exclusively business clientele. We will make a recommendation once we have assessed your demands and needs. A more detailed explanation of our service follows.
Scope and Capacity of Services
We act as independent intermediaries on behalf of our Clients and are subject to the Law of Agency which imposes duties on us. We are acting as your agent when we are :-
Whose products do we offer
The Business Insurance Bureau is an independent insurance intermediary acting on your behalf. We offer a wide range of products. We also have in place binding authority facilities with Lloyds of London and the London Insurance Market which we utilise in specialist or niche markets, like food, drink and entertainment.
When we utilize these facilities on your behalf, we are acting as the agent of our binding underwriters however, such placings are to obtain maximum value for our customers.
Use of other intermediaries – Where we consider it to be appropriate and for your benefit, it may be necessary for us to request another broker or intermediary to act as our agent and assist in the placement of your insurance product. In such cases, we will provide specific instructions to such sub-agents so as to meet your insurance requirements.
What we earn and what you will pay for our services
The Business Insurance Bureau earns its income from arranging and administering insurances and insurance related work such as surveys and claims assistance. We earn commission from the insurers with whom we place your business.
Our commission earnings are around 15% of premiums before tax, much less than some of our larger market participants. Because we take less out of your premiums, more is reserved for future claims payments which helps to reduce individual loss ratios and keeps premiums stable long term.
However a Gross Margin of 15% (before expenses) is not sufficient to provide the intellectual expertise; quality administration; modern technology or overall service levels expected by our Clientele and our Regulators. We do therefore also earn professional fees which are charged to our clients, and these are shown on our documentation.
Lloyd's and London Market Binding Authorities
We also earn documentation fees, which are set by our Lloyd’s and London Market Binding Authority Underwriters. These documentation fees reflect our costs in preparing all reporting information and policyholder documentation, which witnesses the contract between insurer and insured. These documentation fees are shown as a separate but integral part of the overall insurance premium on the policy document.
Our commission earnings represent a subsidy towards our costs in providing the levels of service expected by our clientele, our regulators, our own Professional Indemnity insurers and the insurance market generally. Like all professional businesses we charge fees for advice and service. Our standard charges are:
Broking, Underwriting & Advice Fee
Risk Management and Survey Assistance
Mid Term Adjustment Documentation
Copy Documentation, Certificates
Returned Cheques/Instalment Defaults
up to 10% of annual policy premium
up to £100:00 per policy
up to £100:00 per policy if required
up to £25.00 per adjustment
up to £25:00 per document
£25:00 per instance
If our fees or charges require to be modified upwards for a particular reason we will advise you separately in writing prior to commencement of cover. Irrespective of circumstance our commission earnings, fees and charges of whatever type are nonrefundable.
Awareness of Policy Terms
When a policy is issued, you are strongly advised to read it carefully as it is that document, the schedule and any certificate of insurance which is the basis of the insurance contract you have purchased. If you are in doubt over any of the policy terms and conditions, please seek our advice promptly.
Policy documentation will be issued to all customers in a timely manner. This will normally be within 30 days of the contract of insurance being incepted. Your policy documentation will confirm the basis of cover and provide details of the insurers. Prior to conclusion of the contract, you will be sent a statement of your Demands and Needs, together with confirmation of where the contract has been personally recommended by us, and if so, the reasons for making that recommendation.
Renewals are invited on the basis that there have been no material changes in the risk other than those specifically notified to us or your insurers. Where we have received renewal terms from insurers, commercial customers will receive their renewal terms in good time. Attached to the renewal terms will be a statement of any changes to the terms of the policy, with an explanation of these changes. You will be provided with a statement of the price and information regarding cancellation.
Your Duty to make a Fair Presentation of the Risk (Insurance Act 2015)
You have a legal duty following a reasonable search to make a fair presentation to disclose to an insurer, in a manner that is clear and accessible, every material circumstance which is known or ought to be known by your own senior management team, including those responsible for arranging the insurance and any agents acting on your behalf. When conducting a reasonable search you should consider the activities in your business, the risk they may pose to you and others and who holds this information within your business and ensure all relevant facts are disclosed and presented fairly.
A material circumstance is a circumstance which would influence the judgment of an insurer in determining whether to take and insure the risk and, if so, on what terms. If you do not, this may result in claims being rejected or not fully paid as well as the insurance being potentially cancelled at any stage of the policy including at inception (i.e. treated as if it never existed), depending upon the manner and extent in which you fail to comply with this duty.
This duty not only applies at commencement and renewal of the policy but also at any time during the period of insurance, including when making a claim. Therefore it is very important that you keep us informed. If you are unsure what you should inform us of or require further information, please contact us to seek clarification.
In the event of any future changes, please tell us about these as soon as possible in order to allow us to update your records and inform insurers.
It is our policy to retain records for business effected on your behalf for a minimum of 3 years and otherwise as required by regulation or law. It is possible that a claim may be made under some types of insurance cover, long after the policy’s expiry date and it is therefore important that you keep such documents safely.
Cancellation rights - Commercial customers
Commercial insurance policies do not routinely have cancellation rights except those available to the insurer. As a Commercial customer, you do not have the same cancellation rights by law as a consumer but may still have specific contract rights and reference should be made to the policy document to ascertain your position.
Cancellation Charges for Commercial Customers
Where returns of commercial premiums are made on cancellation, it is usually following cancellation by the insurer, not the policyholder. On cancellation of a policy any refund or premium allowed by the insurer in accordance with their normal scale will be paid to you after deducting our annual commission and fees which are, as already stated, non-refundable. In the event that your business ceases trading through liquidation, sequestration, or is placed in administration, which results in the cancellation of your policy, by your acceptance of these terms of business, we are granted a first charge on the amounts of any return of premiums generated or recovered by us in these circumstances.
This is to ameliorate our administrative costs in dealing with the appropriate appointed legal representatives, to reimburse us for any discounts given or earnings achievable in anticipation of our an ongoing commercial relationship. Moreover, Premium Finance providers will retain a first charge on return premiums in respect of funding advanced, following cancellation of the policy.
MIXED COMMERCIAL AND CONSUMER POLICIES
FCA required risk warning: If you are an individual taking out a policy that covers you for both business and personal use, this could mean that you lose certain regulatory protections that would be available to you if you bought the cover for personal use separately. These include the right to cancel the policy without penalty within 14 days and stricter regulation of product disclosure and claims handling.
All premiums due to insurers must normally be paid by you on or before the date that cover commences. Where alternative methods of payment are available these will be discussed with you so that arrangements can be put in place by the due date.
To make sure you get the best offer from insurers or third parties involved in your insurance, i.e. finance providers, now or at any renewal or at any time and to protect their customers from fraud and to verify your identity, they may use publicly available data which they obtain from a variety of sources, including a credit reference agency and other external organisations. Their search will appear on your credit report whether or not your applications proceed.
As well as these searches they or us may use a credit check to ascertain the most appropriate payment options for you. This credit check will also appear on your credit report whether or not your applications proceed.
Unless you contact us to confirm you do not wish us to carry out these searches we will assume your consent has been given and proceed as above.
MONEY LAUNDERING/PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT
The Serious Organised Crime Agency requires us to obtain evidence of clients identity at the start of a business relationship. We may ask for sight of your passport, utility bill or bank statements. For companies, evidence usually consists of a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation or we may check the Companies House register.
Where we receive monies from you or your insurer we hold these either on your behalf or on behalf of your insurer(s) as determined by the terms of our Terms of Business Agreement with each insurer. It is our policy to agree with insurers that where we receive monies from you, these are held on the insurers behalf known as ‘risk transfer’.
This protects you against the risk of our insolvency as the money is deemed to have been immediately received by the insurer and in this event removes any uncertainty in respect of your cover. De facto, it is deemed that we do not hold client money, though we do have a separate bank account from which insurers money is distributed to them and our own earnings are deducted. Our bank have no entitlement to any monies in our broking account.
It is our intention to provide you with a high level of customer service at all times. If there are occasions when we do not meet your standards please contact Robert Hannah at The Business Insurance Bureau. If the matter is resolved within 3 business days, we will write to you to confirm this. If it cannot, we will seek to resolve the matter as quickly as possible and keep you informed of progress. If we cannot agree a solution between us, we will explain why. We will confirm our final response to any complaint within eight weeks of your complaint.
If you are:
a private individual, or
an enterprise which:
(a) employs fewer than 10 persons and
(b) has a turnover or annual balance sheet that does not exceed €2 million or
a charity which has an annual income of less than £1million or
a trustee of a trust which has a net asset value of less than £1million.
Then you may be entitled to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR, tel 0800 0234 567, website www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk. If you have a complaint against your insurer, your policy documentation will set out the procedure that you should follow. However, we will assist you if required.
FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPENSATION SCHEME (FSCS)
We are covered by the FSCS. You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. Full details and further information on the scheme are available from the FSCS www.fscs.org.uk
CONFIDENTIALITY AND SECURITY
We are registered with the Data Protection Registrar. We will ensure that any information obtained from you is treated by us and anyone else involved in arranging, considering to arrange or managing your insurance, as Strictly Private and Confidential. We will not provide your information to anyone else unless we:
have your permission to do so, or -are required to by the FCA, or -are required to do so by law, or -are required to do so in the normal course of arranging or negotiating and maintaining, or renewing financial services products which we may from time to time approve.We take appropriate steps to ensure the security of any money, documents, other property or information handled or held on your behalf.
All information in any form, with the exception of policy documents and certificates issued on behalf of insurers and supplied by us, to you, should be treated as Strictly Private and Confidential and not be released directly or indirectly to any other party, without our explicit consent.
Note: in transacting your insurances with The Business Insurance Bureau, you are deemed to have accepted our Terms of Business. Your accepting of these Terms of Business does not affect your statutory rights.
Insurers pass information to the Claims and Underwriting Exchange run by Insurance Database Services Ltd and the Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud and Theft Register run by the Association of British Insurers. The aim is to check information provided and also prevent fraudulent claims. Motor Insurance details are added to the Motor Insurance Database run by the Motor Insurers’ Information Centre that has been formed to help identify uninsured drivers and may be secured by the Police to help confirm who is insured to drive. In the event of an accident the database may be used by insurers and the Motor Insurers Bureau to identify relevant policy information. Other insurance related databases may also be added in the future.
You must notify us as soon as possible of a claim and circumstances which may give rise to a claim. In the event of a claim you should contact this office and we will promptly advise you and if appropriate, issue you with a claim form and pass all details to your insurer. You should not admit liability or agree to any course of action, other than emergency measures carried out to minimise the loss, until you have an agreement from your insurer. We will remit claims payments to you as soon as possible after they have been received on your behalf. In the event that an insurer becomes insolvent or delays making settlement we do not accept liability for any unpaid amounts.
We do not guarantee the solvency of any insurer we place business with. A liability for the premium, whether in full or pro rata, may arise under policies where a participating insurer becomes insolvent.
If your policy requires you to populate & update the Motor Insurance Database, it is entirely your responsibility to ensure this is done even if you request us or your insurer to do this on your behalf. We are unable to accept responsibility if you fail in your obligations to ensure the MID is correct as per current legislation.
HEALTH & SAFETY AND OTHER LEGISLATION
All commercial insurance policies presume that you are trading legally and are statutory compliant with all and any regulations that affect or apply to your business. This affects everything from MOT’s for vehicles, to safe working practices to cleaning kitchens in restaurants. Please be aware non- compliance with statutory regulations or law can and will have an impact with the manner in which insurers will deal with claims, from compromise to repudiation. We cannot be held responsible for any client who fails to comply with current Health & Safety or other relevant legislation.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY – IMPORTANT NOTICE
We accept instructions to act on your behalf strictly subject to the following limitation upon our liability.Our liability to you for any act or omission (including, but not limited to, our negligence and /or the negligence of any other parties in respect of which we are legally liable to you), whether such liability be in damages, equitable compensation or otherwise, shall not exceed the sum of £1,000,000 or its equivalent from time to time in Euros or any other relevant or appropriate currency in respect of any one transaction or series of related transactions.
This figure has been carefully chosen in order to enable us to offer reasonable redress to our clients in the event of a claim, whilst enabling us to retain competitive levels of fees and commissions and make appropriate arrangements to ensure that any proper claim is met. This section does not apply to awards made by the Financial Ombudsman Services in the exercise of his compulsory jurisdiction.In section 2 above:“negligence” means a breach of any obligation upon us to take reasonable care, whether that obligation is imposed by virtue of a term (express or implied) of any relevant contract, or by the law of negligence, or otherwise;“transaction” means any professional service provided by us to you, including (but not limited to) the arranging of insurance, advising on insurance cover and/or on particular wordings, notification of claims to insurers, and claims handling generally iii. “a series of related transactions” has its ordinary meaning (save that “transaction” has the meaning given at (ii) above), but includes (without limitation), (a) transactions concerning, connected with or arising out of the same policy of insurance or reinsurance arrangement, or, (b) where different policies or arrangements insure or reinsure (as the case may be all or some of the same risks, transactions concerning, connected with or arising out of some or all of those policies or arrangements.
We are always prepared to discuss increasing the limit of our liability specified in this section in relation to any individual engagement, if particular reasons exist, but we reserve the right to decline to increase the limit or (in the event that we agree to increase it) to make an additional charge or to impose alternative or additional conditions. No agreement to increase the limit shall be valid unless made in writing and signed by a partner in the firm.
Under these Terms of Business, you agree not to make any claim against any employee, director, partner, consultant or other individual connected with us. See paragraph 6 below. However, it is also understood and agreed that if for any reason the provisions of paragraph 6 hereof are held to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part, any claim made by you against any employee, director, partner, consultant or other individual connected with us is also subject to the limit of liability of £1,000,000 contained in this clause, and you understood and agree that any such individual may avail himself of this limitation.
You agree:that your remedies in relation to the provision of professional services by us, arising out of or in connection with this engagement, lie exclusively against us and not against any employee, director, consultant or partner as individuals;that you will not make any claim and/or bring any legal proceedings against any employee, director, partner, consultant or other individual, in respect of any act or omission by any such person or persons (whether negligent or not). You understand and agree that the provisions of this clause may be enforced by any employee, director, partner, consultant or other individual connected with us in accordance with the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999
The Business Insurance Bureau is a specialist commercial insurance intermediary and as such has no significant involvement with ‘Consumers’.
As such we regard any placing of domestic insurance for commercial clients as an extension of our existing commercial relationship however it is relevant to highlight the differences ‘Consumers’ would be entitled to under the FCA regulations. In accepting these Terms of Business, you are accepting our standard Terms of Business for commercial customers.
Consumers would be sent a Policy Summary at conclusion of the Contract or immediately thereafter.
Consumers would be provided with their renewal terms no later than 21 days before expiry of the policy, or receive notification that renewal is not being invited. Consumers would also have the right to request a new policy document at renewal.
CANCELLATION RIGHTS – CONSUMERS
You would have the right to cancel a policy within 14 days of its inception or upon receipt of the policy documentation whichever is the later. You would as a Consumer and without providing a reason, cancel the policy by confirming this is in writing to the address of our office through which your policy was placed. Any policy documentation and in particular any legal document, i.e. Certificate of Motor Insurance, Employers Liability Certificate, MUST be returned with your instruction to cancel. By exercising your right to cancel the policy, you are withdrawing from the contract of insurance.
If you exercise your right to cancel the policy, you will receive, no later than 30 days from receipt of the cancellation notification, any sum which you have paid for the policy apart from an amount to cover the time you have been on risk (including Insurance Premium Tax) and any relevant administration cost incurred by both your insurer and us.
These cancellation rights do not apply to a travel and baggage policy or similar short-term policy of less than one month’s duration, or to a policy for which the performance has been fully completed by both parties at your request before you exercise your right to cancel. If no premium has been paid, then a ‘time on risk’ premium (inclusive of Insurance Premium Tax) including any relevant administration costs may be charged.
MISREPRESENTATIONS ACT (CONSUMERS ONLY)
You are respectfully reminded of your duty to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation in any information that is provided by you to insurers and to answer all questions asked by insurers honestly. Under the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012, a misrepresentation may amount to a failure to comply with a request from an insurer for confirmation, or amendment, of details previously provided by you.
Please be aware that the duty to take care not to make a misrepresentation exists not just prior to any placement being effected but also at any subsequent renewal and any variation of the contract terms during the period of insurance.
In the event of a deliberate or reckless misrepresentation, insurers may avoid the contract. Under the Consumer Insurer (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012, a deliberate or reckless misrepresentation is a misrepresentation where you know it to be untrue or misleading (or do not care either way) and that you know (or do not care) that the matter to which it relates is relevant to insurers.
Insurers may also avoid the contract where a careless misrepresentation has been made. A careless misrepresentation is a misrepresentation that is neither deliberate nor reckless. In such instances, if insurers would not have entered into the contract had the careless misrepresentation not been made, then insurers may be entitled to avoid the contract. However, if insurers would have imposed different terms had the careless misrepresentation not been made, then insurers may be entitled to treat the contract as if those terms applied.
If you would prefer to have any domestic insurance treated separately as a ‘Consumer’ please advise and we will arrange to introduce you to a Consumer specialist insurance intermediary.
DURATION AND TERMINATION
Our services may be terminated without cause or penalty by giving one months’ notice in writing. In the event that our services are terminated by you other than at the expiry of the policy we will be entitled to retain any fees and all of the brokerage payable. The responsibility for handling claims reported after the date of termination shall in the absence of an express agreement be the responsibility of the party taking over the role.
LAW AND JURISDICTION
These Terms of Business shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. In relation to any legal action or proceedings arising out of or in connection with these Terms of Business, we both irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Scottish courts.